What Materials are used for Thatched Roofs?
A thatch roof utilises different types of material to form and shape the roof. The thatch roof is mainly made of dried or hollow vegetation. Most commonly, the materials used are water reed, straw or what is more commonly named “long straw”, and combed wheat.
These different types of materials make up the core of a thatch roof. These are the most commonly used and definitely the best. The differences vary from longevity, durability, and of course, aesthetics. You don’t need to worry about making the decision as our master thatchers will guide you and help you select the best material to form your thatch roof!
All of the materials are grown here in the UK and harvested by hand! This makes thatching as a profession and business highly eco-friendly!
For generations, water reed has been utilised as a thatching material in the UK. In Europe, it is also the most common thatching material. Water Reed may be found in Austria, China, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine, among other locations.
Water reeds may be found in all areas where there are reed beds near rivers. There is always variation in the material from length to diameter, as well as the degree of tapering, regardless of where it originates from. All of these criteria influence which material bundles are used on the roof. As a result, it is up to one of our master thatchers to skillfully use the appropriate material for your thatch roof.
Reed beds in river regions are home to water reeds. Water reeds should be harvested every year in order to produce good thatching material. This is because if it is left much longer, new growth will grow from the bottom between the older water reeds, and it will be bent. So for the best thatching results, you’ll need straight water reeds. The yearly water reed harvest is carried out in several ways in order to obtain the best straight material that is not aged and brittle.
An eco-friendly method is harvesting and cutting the water reeds by hand. However, this is labour intensive and relatively slow. Another method is to mechanically harvest water reed and place the water reeds in piles to dry up in the sun.
Water Reed roofs are generally thought to be the longest lasting of the thatching materials. Typically, water reed roofs last between 25 – 40 years, and with great maintenance, water reed roofs can last up to 60 years!
Longstraw is made from straw that is grown specifically for thatching. Long straw is a hollow-stemmed variety ideal for thatching!
Long straw thatched roofs have a shaggy look. Around the eaves and barges of the structure, these roofs frequently feature a spar design.
Long straw is traditionally made in the same manner as Combed Wheat Reed. Long straw is specially grown and then cut with a binder and tied into piles that are left to dry in the sun.
In the UK, a few experts are currently growing thatching straw. In addition, there are a few thatchers that cultivate their own straw as well. Binders, threshing machines, and combers are among the antique machinery used in traditional manufacture. Many of these devices have been around for more than 70 years!
Finally, the last of the primary materials used for thatching is called combed wheat reed. Combed wheat reed is mainly used to form and construct the ridge of the thatch roofing.
Wheat reed varieties are grown mainly for use as thatching straw. Combed Wheat Reed is traditionally made by cutting wheat with a binder and binding it into sheaves, which are then dried in the sun.
The grains are subsequently removed from the sheaves using a threshing machine or drum. The wheat reeds were then placed in a threshing machine with a comber on top, combing the straws and removing any grains, leaves, or broken straws.
Maintenance of Thatch Roofs
If you want to preserve your thatched roofing in the most satisfactory possible condition, you’ve come to the right place! Our expert thatchers at the NSMT provide the best quality and service for maintaining your thatched roofs. As already stated, routine maintenance and inspection are required to keep these thatched properties in good working order. The owner of the thatched property or roof, as well as one of our expert thatchers, both can contribute to the maintenance of the thatched roof.
The thatched roof should be inspected every 10 to 15 years. Inspecting the roof to make sure it is completely dry is essential so that you don’t find damp spaces. In addition, the best research and practice of thatching recommends that the ride of the thatch should be changed every 10-15 years. Both the thatched property owner and one of our master thatchers can contribute to the maintenance of thatched roofs.
How long do Traditional Thatched Roofs last?
Thatching a roof with a different material is what determines the lifespan of the roof. Many various contributing factors affect the lifespan of the thatching work, such as :
- Quality of the material.
- Skills of the thatching master (Thatching Technique).
- Natural causes (Humidity, Rain, Tree Proximity).
- Damage from pests.
A rough estimate of how long different thatching materials last is :
- Water Reed – 25 – 40+ years.
- Combed Wheat Reed – 25 – 35 years.
- Long straw – 15 – 25 years.
- Ridge – 10 – 15 years.
It is very important to know that taking good care of your thatch roofing will definitely provide a longer lifespan for the thatch. This is why as mentioned previously, the NSMT highly recommends that you get the aid of one of our master teachers to help keep your roof in the best shape possible with frequent maintenance and inspection!
When should I replace my Thatched Roof?
An adequately built thatched roof made of high-quality materials is likely to last for up to 50 years! The ridges, on the other hand, are likely to require maintenance every 8 to 10 years. This will still depend on the skill of the thatcher, the quality of the material and the care that goes into maintaining the roofing.
Rethatching the roofing will also cost you around the same price for installing the thatch roofing in the first place. Replacing the thatch will be hassle-free when it comes to the outstanding thatching master at the NSMT!
The NSMT makes sure that you can reliably re-thatch any of your historical and luxurious thatch roofing with the aid of one of our master thatchers! We will make sure to preserve the beauty and heritage of these historical and precious properties!
What are the Benefits?
A thatch roof is not only for its appearance. The thatch roof provides you with many benefits, which include :
Why Choose NSMT for Thatched Roofs?
Thatching is a profession that has been passed down through the generations! However, we are pretty proud of the society and community that the NSMT has developed over the years. To be a master at thatching, you’ll need a variety of skills and experience, as well as a lot of knowledge and understanding about the art and method of thatching.
You can be confident that when a thatching expert arrives to assist you with any of your thatching needs, we will provide the most excellent thatched roof service in the UK! Our master thatchers and we offer maintenance, inspections, re-thatching, re-ridging, repairs, fire and pest control education, and thatch insurance in the event of a mishap. So when it comes to thatch roof services, we are undoubtedly the best at conserving the heritage of the UK countryside!